Professionalization in EU Policy-Making? The topology of the transnational field of EU affairs

Art der Veröffentlichung:



European Societies, Volume 17, Issue 4, p.569-592 (2015)



In this paper, we conceptualize EU policy-making as a vital field of professionalization and depict the emergence and various dimensions of an area of professional work nowadays labelled ‘EU Affairs’. Thus, we argue that the EU constitutes more than just a supranational layer of decision-making, but is at the same time a pertinent and influential producer of expert knowledge and sets the stage for the emergence of specialized job profiles, professional careers, and working contexts. While usually acting ‘in the shadow’ and ‘in the back doors’ of EU policy-making, specialized groups of professionals make use of recognized expert knowledge. Drawing on social field theory and current approaches to professionalism and professionalization, the paper scrutinizes the transnational scope of EU Affairs professionalism in a topological manner by distinguishing different arenas and types of professional involvement in EU Affairs. In this way, we aim to go beyond prevailing bureaucracy- and governance-centred views on EU policy-making, and establish a broader and more differentiated image of the people who actually deal with EU Affairs, ranging from the major locations of EU policy-making far into the EU member states and even beyond.

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